Tag Archives: won

death opens a banner

Book Review: Death Opens a Window, by Mikel J. Wilson

Some time ago, I won copies of Mikel J. Wilson‘s Murder on the Lake of Fire and  Death Opens a Window (Mourning Dove Mysteries, #1 & 2) on Instagram. I read and reviewed book one, Murder on the Lake of Fire, last year, but never got around to Death Opens a Window. However, with book 3 soon to come out, the series  was promoed on Sadie’s Spotlight recently, which reminded me Death Opens a Window was buried on my shelf. So, I pulled it out.

death-opens-a-window

As he struggles with the consequences of his last case, Emory must unravel the inexplicable death of a federal employee in a Knoxville high-rise. But while the reticent investigator is mired in a deep pool of suspects – from an old mountain witch to the powerful Tennessee Valley Authority – he misses a greater danger creeping from the shadows. The man in the ski mask returns to reveal himself, and the shocking crime of someone close is unearthed.

my review

I quite enjoyed this. I like Emory as a main character and Jeff is possibly the most abrasive partner ever. But they make a good straight man / wise guy duo. I didn’t even guess the murderer. I’d started to suspect, but I wasn’t sure and that’s a pleasant rarity for me. The editing is clean and writing is sharp. I thought the use of names or endearments in dialogue cropped up on occasion, but not too often and mostly with the same characters. So, maybe it’s just supposed to be a speech pattern of them in particular. Then that reveal at the end…well, I guess I need book three now.

the most eligible viscount in London banner

Book Review: The Most Eligible Viscount In London, by Ella Quinn

I won a paperback copy of Ella Quinn‘s The Most Eligible Viscount In London through Goodreads. Then, it was promoed on Sadie’s Spotlight, which was a reminder to actually read it instead of letting it get lost on my book shelf.
the most eligible viscount in london

Viscount Gavin Turley is convinced that love matches cause nothing but trouble. Still, after months of courting, he’s fallen for Miss Georgie Featherton. He’s passionate about her, in fact. But words of love are not an indulgence he will allow himself. When he presents Georgie with his marriage proposal, he will lead with his head—not his heart. His qualifications as a husband are excellent, after all. What could go wrong?

No sooner does Gavin kneel on one knee than Georgie’s heart goes aflutter with joy. Finally, the proposal she longed for had arrived. Yet Gavin seemed to be listing his credentials for a business partnership, not a romantic union. Without a declaration of love, Georgie can only reject his offer—unless the ladies of the ton, and Georgie’s grandmama, have anything to do with it. For sometimes it takes a wiser eye to see the love behind a guarded heart—and a clever scheme to bring it out of hiding…

my review

I found this beyond frustrating. It is an entire book that could have been resolved with one simple conversation. But then then the characters commenced going horseback riding together, to town fetes, winning problematically entitled treasure hunts, eating meals together, etc and not having that conversation. It’s all either character thought about, but they didn’t speak of it. And frankly I found the whole contrivance stretched credulity far beyond believably.

Do you know what it felt like? It felt like 10 pages of set up, 262 pages of filler, a page (page 272) in which The Conversation finally occurred, another 7o pages of further filler, and then a rushed obligatory Baby’s birth tacked on. None of that was satisfying. I didn’t feel any true love between the characters. I didn’t feel any true tension in the plotting or enjoy any of the filler events. It was dull and unbelievable.

I’ll admit that the writing and editing are clean, as you would expect from an author who has published a billion books with big 6 publishers. But I thought this a huge waste of time to have read.

ensoulment nick askew

Book Review: Ensoulment, by Nick Askew

I won an ebook copy of Nick Askew‘s Ensoulment through Goodreads.

ensoulment nick askew

Every being is infused with a soul upon their creation, but what would happen if a soul was split?

Running from his troubled past, Andrew arrives in LA, greeted by his loving boyfriend and headed for a night of celebration. When Jack gets down on one knee, the last thing either of them expects is Andrew’s sudden death, a tragedy that sets in motion a chain of events that will alter the fabric of reality itself.

As death thrusts him into a strange world full of outlandish and dangerous inhabitants, Andrew embarks upon a mission to reunite a princess with her long-lost prince. As familiar as it feels, he soon learns shadowy forces are working against him, and nothing in this land is as it appears. Andrew’s in a different kind of fairy tale, and he must seek out the other half of his soul if he ever hopes to find his way home again.

my review

Just yesterday I said I was going to make a concerted effort to be more tactful in my reviews, even negative ones. And here, the very first review I have to write after, I find I have very little positive to say, even when trying.

I’ll be honest. I found this immensely dissatisfying. It took almost a quarter of the book to even figure out what was going on (far too long) and, even then I often barely kept up with the erratic plot and perspective shifts. It was so dedicated to being Bizzaro that the plot itself suffered for it.

Then there is the writing. Some of it is just wrong in an editorial sense, like, “They were cold, tried and looking for any excuse…” But there are quite a lot of sentences that might or might not be wrong, but are just off, odd in a way that pulls you out to the story. Here are a few example.

“The ache in his heart, a pain he worked so hard to rid himself of, took bloom once again.”
—Do things take bloom? They take root, take flight. But do they take bloom…or just bloom?

“I left my wife in bed and crept down the hall to get a better listen.”
—You get a better look, does it work the same way for hearing?

“There was energy to his veracity, almost to the fact she wasn’t sure even he knew the reasons he did the things he did.”
—To the fact….or should it be to the degree?

“We were being precatious.”
—You have caution, you are cautious, you take precautions…Merrian Webber says precautious is a word, but man is it awkward in that sentence. Do we actually use it that way?

“He hoped repeating the name Lily would somehow convert the bird to find her…”
—Are we actually converting the bird—it’s possible in this odd book—or do we mean convince?

“As she attempted to lift her head, the dull pain retreated to sharp.”
—Does dull pain retreat to sharp, or should sharp retreat to dull?

You see what I mean, a lot of it is just a little…well, off. Which might be an authorial choice in a book so very dedicated to it’s own weirdness, but I rather think not. Then the whole thing ends with so little conclusion that I feel it better referred to as a fizzle than a bang.

All in all, I think the author had an interesting idea. The anthropomorphic animals were interesting. I liked Andrew to the degree I could, considering we get to know so little of him. But I’m not interested in reading more of this series.